Large Hadron Collider sticks with reels of tape for vast storage needs

Collisions recorded by the CMS detector

Collisions recorded by the CMS detector, part of the LHC

McCauley, Thomas/CERN

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) wakes from a three-year shutdown next month when beam tests begin ahead of experimental work. During the downtime, upgrades were made to the computer centres that handle the vast amounts of data produced when particles smash into each other close to the speed of light. But, despite the LHC being the most expensive scientific instrument built, the information it collects is still archived on magnetic tape – a technology that has barely changed since 1952.

Alberto Pace …